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Monday, 11 August 2008 05:52

Call centre outsourcer routes calls to mobiles via Freshtel VoIP

VoIP provider Freshtel (ASX: FRE) has scored a deal from a large call centre outsourcer Link:Q that could boost flagging revenues significantly: Link:Q will route its outgoing calls to mobiles over the Freshtel VoIP network.

Freshtel appears to be struggling. It's been two and half years since it first announced that UK retailing giant, Tesco, would resell its VoIP service, but the deal has yet to have any significant impact on Freshtel revenues. For the three months to 30 June net cash outflow was $2.2m compared to $1.7m for the preceding quarter and revenue from customers was just $0.9m down on the previous quarter, due, Freshtel said. "to a decline in revenue from specific customer projects."

Under the latest deal, Quantum Multimedia Communications, which trades as Link:Q, will route outbound calls to Australian mobiles from its QMC call centres via Freshtel's Voicedot network. According to Freshtel this will generate "a significant amount of voice traffic over the Voicedot network at a special negotiated rate."

Freshtel has given no indication of expected call volumes, expected revenues or the cost savings Link:Q expects to make from the deal. However Link:Q claims to be 'one of Australia's largest contact management solution specialists," with "over 4,000 businesses using Link:Q services to assist in their call handling requirements." It gives no indication of outgoing call volumes but does claim to take over 2.5 million inbound calls each month.

Freshtel CEO, Rhonda O'Donnell, described the deal as "an important win for Freshtel as it will deliver additional revenue, but just as importantly it demonstrates that Internet telephony is a viable option for businesses looking to reduce their operational costs." She added: "We've tailored an offering that provides competitive call rates, ongoing monitoring of the network and pro-active support to ensure high call quality at all times."

O'Donnell said that while Freshtel had traditionally pursued its white label business model (under which others, such as Tesco, sell Freshtel VoIP services under their own brand name) it had expanded its focus to explore Internet telephony solutions for corporates. She claimed that Freshtel had "a superior business grade network and the resources in place to quickly deploy bespoke solutions for a range of companies."

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